Controlled Substances in the United States and Canada

Controlled Substances Act—United States

The U.S. Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 placed drugs controlled by the Act into five categories or schedules based on their potential to cause psychologic and/or physical dependence as well as on their potential for abuse. The schedules are defined as follows:

Schedule (C-I): Includes substances for which there is a high abuse potential and no current approved medical use (e.g., heroin, marijuana, LSD, other hallucinogens, certain opiates and opium derivatives).

Schedule (C-II): Includes drugs that have a high abuse potential and a high ability to produce physical and/or psychologic dependence and for which there is a current approved or acceptable medical use.

Schedule (C-III): Includes drugs for which there is less potential for abuse than drugs in Schedule II and for which there is a current approved medical use. Certain drugs in this category are preparations containing limited quantities of codeine. Also, anabolic steroids are classified in Schedule III.

Schedule (C-IV): Includes drugs for which there is a relatively low abuse potential and for which there is a current approved medical use.

Schedule (C-V): Drugs in this category consist mainly of preparations containing limited amounts of certain narcotic drugs for use as antitussives and antidiarrheals. Federal law provides that limited quantities of these drugs (e.g., codeine) may be bought without a prescription by an individual at least 18 years of age. The product must be purchased from a pharmacist who must keep appropriate records. However, state laws vary, and in many states such products require a prescription.

Controlled Substances—Canada

In Canada, narcotics are governed by the Narcotics Control regulations and are designated by the letter N. Drugs that are considered subject to abuse, have an approved medical use, and are not narcotics are designated by the letter C.

Generally prescriptions for Schedule II (high-abuse-potential) drugs cannot be transmitted over the phone and they cannot be refilled. Prescriptions for Schedule III, IV, and V drugs may be refilled up to five times within 6 months. Schedule II drugs are not necessarily "stronger" than drugs in Schedules III, IV, or V; Schedule II drugs are classified as such due to their high abuse potential.

United States

Canada

Alfentanil

II

N

Alprazolam

IV

*

Amobarbital

II

C

Amphetamine

II

Not available

Aprobarbital

III

*

Benzphetamine

III

Not available

Buprenorphine

V

*

Butabarbital

III

C

Butorphanol

*

C

Chloral hydrate

IV

*

Chlordiazepoxide

IV

*

Clonazepam

IV

*

Clorazepate

IV

*

Codeine

II

N

Dextroamphetamine

II

C

Diazepam

IV

*

Diethylpropion

IV

C

Estazolam

IV

*

Ethchlorvynol

IV

*

Fenfluramine

IV

*

Fentanyl

II

N

Fluoxymesterone

III

*

Flurazepam

IV

*

Glutethimide

III

*

Halazepam

IV

Not available

Hydrocodone

Not available

N

Hydromorphone

II

N

Levomethadyl acetate HCl

II

Not available

Levorphanol

II

N

Lorazepam

IV

*

Mazindol

IV

*

Meperidine

II

N

Mephobarbital

IV

C

Meprobamate

IV

*

Methadone

II

N

Methamphetamine

II

Not available

Metharbital

III

C

Methylphenidate

II

C

Methyltestosteone

III

*

Methyprylon

III

*

Midazolam

IV

*

Morphine

II

N

Nalbuphine

*

Drug United States Canada

Drug Schedule

Drug United States Canada

Nandrolone decanote

III

Nandrolone phenpropionate

III

*

Opium

II

N

Oxandrolone

III

*

Oxazepam

IV

*

Oxycodone

II

N

Oxymetholone

III

*

Oxymorphone

II

N

Paraldehyde

IV

*

Paregoric

III

N

Pemoline

IV

*

Pentazocine

IV

N

Pentobarbital

PO, parenteral

II

C

Rectal

III

C

Phendimetrazine

III

Not available

Phenmetrazine

II

Not available

Phenobarbital

IV

C

Phentermine

IV

C

Prazepam

IV

Not available

Propoxyphene

IV

N

Quazepam

IV

Not available

Secobarbital

PO

II

C

Parenteral

II

*

Rectal

III

*

Stanozolol

III

*

Sulfentanil

II

N

Talbutal

III

*

Temazepam

IV

*

Testosterone cypionate in oil

III

*

Testosterone enanthante in oil

III

*

Testosterone in aqueous suspension

III

*

Testosterone propionate in oil

III

*

Testosterone transdermal system

III

*

Triazolam

IV

*

Zolpidem tartrate

IV

*Not controlled

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